Here are just a few of the treasures I found within the Second Book of Samuel.
2 Samuel 14:14
14Like waterspilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die.But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished persondoes not remain banished from him.
We are entering a new year and have celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. It is not surprising that one of the candles of the advent wreath is the candle of hope. This verse from II Samuel makes clear the desire of God to find ways to draw each of us back to him. This book is part of that saga of man’s journey through many valleys and God’s continual presence to shine hope upon him. As we enter this new year, we will have many opportunities to interact with family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. We have the hope of salvation through Jesus in our hearts. We have the presence of the Holy Spirit with us. We have God’s love and power to touch others and give them hope too. We may be the hope for the lonely, the sorrowful, the doubtful, or the downtrodden. We may shine that special light the causes the distracted, the self-centered, the selfish, or the miserly to question whether what they currently have is enough. Yesterday is like the water spilled on the ground, but today is filled with promise. Let us share the hope.
II Samuel 16:5-12
5As King David approached Bahurim,a man from the same clan as Saul’s family came out from there. His name was Shimeison of Gera, and he cursedas he came out.6He pelted David and all the king’s officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David’s right and left.7As he cursed, Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel!8TheLordhas repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned.TheLordhas given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!”
9Then Abishaison of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dogcurse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.”
10But the king said, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah?If he is cursing because theLordsaid to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’”
11David then said to Abishai and all his officials, “My son,my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for theLordhas told him to.12It may be that theLordwill look upon my miseryand restore to me his covenant blessinginstead of his curse today.”
Within the second book of Samuel we have the opportunity to carefully examine how one individual, David, turns both his sin and his holiness over to God to determine his fate as well as the fate of others. At this point in the book, David is once again fleeing for his life. His son Absalom is about to take over the kingdom and David is fleeing for his life. David is surrounded by his elite fighting men. Many have been with him since he was in exile from Saul. Throughout his life, David hands have been covered in blood, and yet, he does not take this man’s life. Why? He has turned the judgment over to God.
We have the opportunity, when confronted with the slings and arrows of harsh words and actions, to defer judgment of the situation to God or to decide to take matters into our own hands. As we begin this new year, let us choose to defer more matters to God and His infinite wisdom and rely less on our own, often imperfect, knowledge.
May your new year be filled with love, hope, and mercy.